You’ve probably heard it on the news or read it in the paper. Getting a colonoscopy is important. Maybe you are young and you think you shouldn’t concern yourself with something like that. It only affects old people, right? Wrong. Cancer of the colon can affect men and women of any age. This is especially true if your family has a history of colon cancer or cancer in general. Learning about colon polyps could very well save your life.
The body is made up of many integral parts. One of these parts is the colon. Without a colon, we wouldn’t be able to digest food and would ultimately die. As part of the digestive system, the colon (or large intestine) removes the water from the food we eat. Some of that food is digested, while the rest is excreted from our body at a later time.
So, what are polyps and what do they have to do with your colon? If polyps are benign they can be removed from your colon upon detection. If they are not removed, or if they go undetected, they may turn into a malignant tumor. This tumor obviously has deadly consequences. Benign polyps, while scary, are ultimately harmless. They won’t spread throughout the body and can’t cause any bodily harm in their current state. However, if you don’t know they are there, your body may be at serious risk.
It all comes down to making sure you get a colonoscopy when necessary. If cancer runs in your family, you should notify your doctor immediately. He or she will tell you when you should start having colonoscopies and how frequently they should be. For the average person, a colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years after the age of 50.
The myth that colon cancer only affects men is not true. Much like breast cancer, it affects both sexes. Cancer doesn’t discriminate, especially colon cancer. It is true that men are more susceptible. However, you should still follow your doctor’s orders when it comes to your health.
You might have friends who have already gone through a colonoscopy and complained about it. It’s not that big of a deal. For 30 minutes a doctor uses a special camera in your colon to detect any polyps. You are given anesthesia so you won’t feel a thing. Afterwards, you might feel a little woozy. The discomfort is worth it. Take care of yourself now so you can live a long and healthy life.
These colon polyps can now be detected using non-invasive methods as well. Doctors are improving this technology everyday. So, you may not even have to worry about being uncomfortable when it comes to this procedure.
Benign colon polyps are not a threat. However, like weeds, you don’t want them to grow into something more hideous. The medical community has said that those who have polyps removed significantly decrease the chances of future polyps existing. That should be reason enough to schedule your appointment right away with your doctor.